Hot off the Arab press 348159

What citizens of other countries are reading about the Middle East.

Border Police officers stand guard in Hebron. (photo credit: REUTERS)
Border Police officers stand guard in Hebron.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The nature of Israeli pressures
Al-Safeer, Beirut, April 8
Despite its serious threats, the Israeli government knows that no good will comes out of punishing the Palestinian Authority, says writer Ali Haydar. Israel knows that too much pressure on the PA will jeopardize the security coordination between Israel a nd the Palestinians. This threat for Israel’s security means that the Jewish state will only impose calculated pressures against the PA in a way that won’t lead to a total collapse of the current relationship. In this sense, even economic pressure sounds far off, as it will have a large aftershock in the streets of Israel. The Israeli newspapers didn’t have a clear answer as to how Israel’s leadership should respond to the Palestinian application to join UN bodies. Haaretz warned that Israeli pressure, possibly leading to a collapse of negotiations as the right wing wants, may lead to a dangerous path ending in an outbreak of security obstacles and the return of “terrorism” in Israel. While Israeli leaders are weighing options between pressuring the PA and fearing the collapse of a body benefiting Israel, the Palestinian leadership is still betting on a failed negotiations process.
Israel awaits the next American president
Al-Etihad, Abu Dhabi, April 8
The current American-Israeli crisis is only affecting the Palestinians. The two sides are dealing with the crisis deal as if it is a superficial disagreement between them, says writer Abdul Wahab Badrakhan. The tension peeked at times when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu challenged US President Barack Obama, publicly announcing his support for Obama’s candidates in the presidential elections. The US is trying hard to reach a peace agreement, convinced by the necessity of such an agreement at this time. The US knows that ending the conflict with the Arabs now will help them in pressuring Iran, and it knows that ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will reduce the region’s issues, helping the US divert its attention to the Far East. While Israel will benefit from this, it still refuses to end the current conflict at the current “price.” Israel still doesn’t recognize Palestinian rights or balanced solutions or dismantling the occupation but how it can “offer” without really giving anything away and killing the peace process. The Arabs are no longer betting on the Obama administration, and while they don’t have many options, they know they will support Palestinians in their diplomatic battlefield.
The impasse of the peace process
Palestine News Network, Bethlehem, April 8
It’s not a secret that the Israeli government doesn’t want peace, says writer Hanna Essa. The continuous measures on the grounds in terms of killings, demolitions and provocations prove that the time is not suitable for an historic reconciliation between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Israel is still not ready for a new peace deal with the Palestinians that will give them their rights. The Palestinians having an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital is the least of Israel’s interests. The current formula of the Israeli government, with many of its ministers living in West Bank settlements, is clearly opposed to granting Palestinians their rights. It is still ironic that in this era of technological revolution and globalization, a state acts as if it’s above all international laws and legalizations.
What is expected from negotiations when Israel refuses to implement even the agreements it has signed, such as the Oslo agreement in 1993, the 1995 interim agreement, the Hebron Agreement in 1997, the 1998 Wye River Memorandum and the 1999 Sharm el-Sheikh agreement.
Who is leading the peace process?
Al Quds, Jerusalem, April 4
US Secretary of State John Kerry told the Palestinians to lead the peace process, a phrase that has been reiterated time and time again since the start of the negotiations process more than 20 years ago. But are the Palestinians supposed to lead the peace process? Israel, as an occupying body, is not interested and doesn’t want any participation in achieving a just peace. Palestinians, on the other hand, lack the important cards as an occupied entity. Their interest in negotiations stems from their inability to end the occupation otherwise amidst the current imbalance of power. They don’t have physical power or political support to stop the Israeli measures on the ground in order to impose a fair solution. Oppositely, they are faced up against a policy of settlements and occupation, without any international pressure on Israel. Without the pressure and a change in the American position towards settlement building, the occupation is doomed to continue. Israel doesn’t want a process that will end in its withdrawal from the occupied territories. The international community should assume its responsibility and save what’s left of the peace process.